Committee on Public Health Legislation Fact Sheet
General Information on Legislation
Subject: An Act Encouraging Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Practice of Primary Care Bill Number: H1520
- Massachusetts is facing a critical shortage of primary care providers. In its 2010 workforce study, the Massachusetts Medical Society found that the labor market for family medicine and internal medicine is “critical.”
- By more effectively and more transparently using services provided by nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs), this bill eases the primary care shortage by making better use of the primary care professionals already practicing in the Commonwealth.
- If we are going to reduce health care costs, it is imperative to increase the workforce and workforce capabilities of primary care clinicians.
- Several studies have found that NPs and PAs provide primary care that is at least as effective and safe as that provided by physicians.
- Allowing NPs and PAs to practice at the top of their license could attract more of these clinicians to Massachusetts.